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Does This ‘Black Rock’ Trailer Insult The Very Institution Of Horror*?

*My headline has been misconstrued as being 100% serious. I’d like to clarify that it’s only 62.3% serious. Obviously there’s a little bit of sarcasm involved when I say something uber-portentous like “The Very Institution Of Horror.” Anyway, Black Rock, director Katie Aselton’s survival horror tale, “follows three childhood friends as they set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.

The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year and I was surprised by the negative reaction. I mean, the pedigree is really good! Written by Mark Duplass (Baghead, Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Cyrus) and directed by Aselton (whose film The Freebie is actually supposed to be pretty good), you’d think that this would be the kind of thing where people with dramatic/comedy chops get a chance to do something fresh with horror. But everything I’ve heard – and the trailer backs this up – is that this is an unfortunate case of people who think they’re above the genre “slumming” in it for various reasons. Perhaps ineloquently, I summed up my feelings on it here almost a year ago.

Ryan Daley’s admittedly mixed-to-positive review says “There’s plenty of nail-biting tension in ‘Black Rock’, but that tension fades with every stupid decision the characters make, and audience frustration eventually builds to the bursting point. It‘s one of those movies that makes you want to yell at the screen.

Again, I haven’t seen Black Rock – but I will and I have every intention of giving it a fair chance when I do. I hope I love it, but I haven’t felt this irked by a movie sight-unseen in some time.

Head inside to check out the trailer.



  • JoeR

    Looks like a Lifetime movie (Not a good thing).

  • Canucklehead

    Your headline reeks of hyperbole. Just another mediocre hunt film,folks,that’s all. No reason to be alarmed,just keep moving.

    • EvanDickson

      @Canucklehead added an in-article explanation to address this.

      • Canucklehead

        I’m definitely humbled over the results of my observation. Sometimes difficult to convey the appropriate tonality in a headline. Well done sir.

  • Joe-Banger

    Im with the other Joe, this looks like a regular chic flick!

  • Blood-Sicles

    I was totally down to watch Lake Bell in a horror flick until I read, “Three women will discover the power of friendship.” Then I laughed off any desire to see this.

  • djblack1313

    i think this looks ok. not earth shatteringly “must see!” but still looks worth watching. i’m confused, was this promoted/hyped as a horror movie and that’s why people are having issues with the trailer (or whatever)? it looks like a straight up DRAMA/thriller and nothing more. and there’s nothing wrong with that. 🙂

    i like Lake Bell, so i’ll see it no matter what because of her but again, i think it looks like an ok drama/thriller. not sure what all the hubbub is about. although reading that characters keep doing cliche horror movie type moves is worrisome.

    Evan, what did you mean exactly in…

    “But everything I’ve heard – and the trailer backs this up – is that this is an unfortunate case of people who think they’re above the genre “slumming” in it for various reasons.”?

    • EvanDickson

      I mean that the filmmakers feel like “oh, let’s do a horror film. They’re kind of stupid and don’t take much effort. It’ll be easy.”

      Obviously I don’t KNOW that they felt that way. But that’s how the trailer comes across.

  • So Bosworth becomes the next one in the long line of female celebs who absolutely fuck up their face with bad plastic surgery. That’s too bad.

    • djblack1313

      Michael i thought the same thing the second i saw her face in the trailer. she was ALREADY(!!!!!!!!) gorgeous!! it’s kinda heartbreaking how already stunning women (or men, i guess) like CSI MIAMI’s Emily Procter, Courtney Cox Arquette or Bosworth mess with what was already perfect. IMO.

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